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The Cardboard Kingdom, a graphic novel by Chad Sell, is a love letter to make-believers. The kids in his fictional neighborhood spend the summer creating elaborate costumes, weapons, and secret hideouts from cardboard boxes that they beg, borrow, and steal. The heartwarming cast of characters, including an evil sorceress, an alchemist, a banshee, and a gargoyle, demonstrate time and time again that they will only be limited by their own imaginations. Many of the kids face resistance from their parents, such as the professor whose father doesn’t understand why she wants to dress up in a mustache or the banshee who’s grandmother constantly tells her that “nice girls don’t talk so loud”, but each finds strength in their alter-ego and many of the small-minded adults eventually come around or are shown to be in the wrong. The Cardboard Kingdom is a wonderfully crafted world that has something for everyone (including your inner child) and one that you’ll want to come back to over and over again.— From Kinsey's Picks
Perfect for fans of Raina Telgemeier, Awkward, and All's Faire in Middle School, this graphic novel follows a neighborhood of kids who transform ordinary cardboard into fantastical homemade costumes as they explore conflicts with friends, family, and their own identity.
"A breath of fresh air, this tender and dynamic collection is a must-have." --Kirkus, Starred
Welcome to a neighborhood of kids who transform ordinary boxes into colorful costumes, and their ordinary block into cardboard kingdom. This is the summer when sixteen kids encounter knights and rogues, robots and monsters--and their own inner demons--on one last quest before school starts again.
In the Cardboard Kingdom, you can be anything you want to be--imagine that!
The Cardboard Kingdom was created, organized, and drawn by Chad Sell with writing from ten other authors: Jay Fuller, David DeMeo, Katie Schenkel, Kris Moore, Molly Muldoon, Vid Alliger, Manuel Betancourt, Michael Cole, Cloud Jacobs, and Barbara Perez Marquez. The Cardboard Kingdom affirms the power of imagination and play during the most important years of adolescent identity-searching and emotional growth.
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY KIRKUS REVIEWS * THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY * SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL * A TEXAS BLUEBONNET 2019-20 MASTER LIST SELECTION
"There's room for everyone inside The Cardboard Kingdom, where friendship and imagination reign supreme." --Ingrid Law, New York Times bestselling author of Savvy
"A timely and colorful graphic novel debut that, like its many offbeat but on-point characters, marches to the beat of its own cardboard drum." --Tim Federle, award-winning author of Better Nate Than Ever
About the Author
Chad Sell grew up in a small town in central Wisconsin. He lived in a neighborhood much like the Cardboard Kingdom where he and his friends bounded through backyards in imaginative games and outfits! He also drew a lot and came up with all kinds of colorful characters. His favorites were often the villains, because despite being different and misunderstood, they were powerful, confident, and got the best costumes. Chad lives in Chicago with his husband and two cats.
Follow the creators of the kingdom on Twitter at @TheCardboardK.
"Sell's cheerful, friendly artistic style... will appeal to fans of Victoria Jamieson. A breath of fresh air."—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"Readers may be inspired to craft their own cardboard kingdom after finishing the book. A must-have."—School Library Journal, starred review
"Imagination, these kids prove, can erase what seem like unbridgeable differences."—Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Vibrant and rich.... A cross between Stevenson’s Nimona and Raina Telgemeier’s characters"—Bulletin, starred review
"This easy-reading story offers—in a fun, engaging package—a meaningful commentary on the importance of childhood games."—Booklist, starred review